As a huge fan of all black everyday, coming across Lydia Pang’s instagram page, then articles upon articles on the art of wearing black on Refinery29 we knew we’d found our go to personal fashion bible. So here’s to sharing and caring, via Lydia Pang herself on a guide to wearing all black. From being consistent to finding key pieces and committing to your look Lydia covers all fronts.
Get Your Staples Right
Simplicity is key! The splendid thing about black is that you can be wearing a £7 polo neck and look the business. My basics have always been: white cotton socks, a crisp white shirt, black jersey polo necks, thick quality tights and a simple cashmere beanie. Always all bought in Uniqlo or Cos.
Form And Function
The rise of Normcore was a confusing time for me because I am probably as contrived looking as a human can get. But, what did inspire me was the re-appropriation and elevation of functional utility items. I started pairing technical fabrics with tailoring, sport socks with heels, neoprene with silk. I’ve been whipping out this North Face puffer for years now, I love it with a pencil skirt. And I have 8 of these cut to fit Muji plastic macs, which I wear with a leather polo neck (stolen from my bff, sorry Ron).
Invest In Power Pieces
I love power dressing and investment pieces are the key to this. Important stuff to get right: the perfect suit, an iconic bag, a well cut evening dress, naughty heels. These can then be paired with cheaper items and look badass. Issey Miyake, Chanel, Acne, CDG, Margiela, Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, and Mrs Prada are my power peoples. Of late I’m worshipping at the alter of: Charlie May, The Row, Andersson Bell, Phlemuns, Jacquemus, Andrea Jiapei Li. Collaborations are an affordable way around expensive taste; I recently bought everything Lemaire x Uniqlo spawned.
Man Up Most of my wardrobe is made up of menswear. I like pairing super androgynous items with clutch bags or more indulgent overtly feminine pieces like corsetry or silks. Tailoring is powerful and it also gives you a free pass to show a bit of skin! My favourite tailored piece is a pair of men’s Comme des Garçons suit trousers, I will be buried in these trousers.
Work A Strong Silhouette I let shape indicate trend and formality. I love neoprene because it holds its shape and creates definition. I like graphic cuts that slice up the body, strong lapels and cuffs that show wrists or ankle bones. It all hangs on the cut and the fit.
Play With Texture Black is beautiful when it’s layered. You can have so much fun with contrasting texture and fabrics. I live for shiny latex boots with crisp tailoring and cashmere or fake fur with a slice of belly out. And nothing pleases me like pleats, a sheer sock and my fluffy adidas sliders. Delicious.
Accessories are a good way of defining an all black uniform and it depends on what sort of day I’ve got in front of me. Spike Prada heels for when I have a big meeting, fishnet socks and sliders for when I’m on set, and sneakers every Sunday.
My natural inclination is that everything does just look better in black, but I must say there’s merit in this madness. Even when I’m sat in the airport after an 11-hour flight eating a boiled egg, I can manage to look mildly chic thanks to my consistent fashion choices. And my boyfriend says the reason he wears all black now is because it’s just easier to do ‘one big wash’. Win win really.
In the immortal words of Yohji Yamamoto: “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.”